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New President Installed At North Central College

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North Central College announced the installment and inauguration of the college’s new president, Dr. Anita Thomas. The local private college is located in nearby Naperville. The college held the inaugural ceremony on their “Founder’s Day”, the day the college first welcomed students to the school in 1861.

Dr. Thomas’ installment as president is of historic significance as she is their 11th president as well as the first woman and the first person of color to lead the College as president.


A mission-driven leader, researcher, educator, and psychologist, Thomas is a champion of liberal arts and sciences education, particularly as  a foundation for developing curiosity and civic engagement. Over more than 25 years in higher education, she has gained deep experience in shaping strategic vision and the direction of student intellectual life.

Thomas was unanimously elected by North Central College’s Board of Trustees following a months-long national search that engaged trustees, students, alumni, faculty, and staff. In North Central’s 162-year history. In addition to leading the College, she will hold the faculty rank of professor of psychology in North Central’sCollege of Arts and Sciences.

Thomas is known nationally for her research on racial socialization in African American families, stereotypical roles of African American women and girls, and the development of critical consciousness and resilience. She has conducted training, seminars, and workshops on multicultural issues for state and national professional organizations in counseling and psychology, as well as for hospitals, corporations, and human service organizations.She received the Association of Black Psychologists Research Award in 2013, and she has co-authored two books: Culture and Identity: Stories for Therapists and Counselors (2016) and Dimensions of Multicultural Counseling: A Life Story Approach (2008).

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